In this highly unusual festival held during the intense cold of February, men who are considered to be at a traditionally unlucky age run naked through the town while people along the route douse them with cold water. The unlucky man who runs at the front carries a banner that says, “prayers for the prevention of fire.”
The festival dates back to 1657, when there was a major fire in Edo. It is said that the date of the large fires that devastated the streets of Edo was designated as an unlucky day, and the festival was started to both pray for and raise awareness of fire prevention. The large fire was caused by someone burning a kimono of his daughter who died of illness at a temple and the kimono caught fire and the conflagration spread. So, the festival is not open to women. Women are not allowed to run or splash water.
This winter festival is representative of Ichinoseki and Iwate, and has been attracting many participants from throughout Japan in recent years. It’s inevitable that the water splashers will also get soaked, so don’t forget to bring a change of clothes and protection for your camera.
- Opening Times
- 9:00-15:50 (the main water throwing starts at 15:00)
- ● About 45 minutes from the Ichinoseki Interchange of the Tohoku Expressway
● About 40 minutes by car from Ichinoseki Station on the Tohoku Shinkansen
- Car Park
- Yes (500 yen charge per vehicle)
- 11 February every year
- Ohara Shopping Street and other locations, Ohara, Daito-cho, Ichinoseki City, Iwate Prefecture
- Ichinoseki Daito-Ohara Water Throwing Festival Preservation Society
- Telephone Number